“Lies and secrets, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.”
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
Clockwork Prince is the second installment of Cassandra Clare‘s The Infernal Devices series. This series is the prequel of The Mortal Instruments series that introduced the world of Shadowhunters. Clockwork Prince continues immediately where Clockwork Angel end. After the incident with the Magister, Charlotte and Henry’s leadership is challenged by Benedict Lightwood. They were given two weeks to find the Magister and uncover his plans, if not they will be force to turn-over the London institute to the Lightwoods. If this happens Tessa will lose a place and will be an easy prey to the Magister.
I think one of the best part of Clockwork Prince is the way Cassandra Clare developed her characters. Everyone step-up on a new level, from the main characters to the minor roles.
Tessa is much better heroine in here than the first book, Clockwork Angel. She still annoyed me sometimes but she definitely grows compare from the last time I encounter her. Her smart and witty side emerge as well as her tough and strong-willed personality. She is still well versed and well read. Her interactions with Will and Jem give chance to Cassandra Clare to scatter different quotations throughout out the book.
“It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”
Will finally redeem himself in this book. I always believe that there is a reason why he keeps everyone at a distance. And I like that Cassandra Clare didn’t stretch the revelation too long. She revealed the other side of Will in this book at the right pace for the reader, but unfortunately a bit too late for Will because the ending doesn’t side in his favor. But for me, this book is Will’s shining moment. The complexity of his character is more vivid in here. He is such a tortured soul doing what he think is right to protect his love ones even though it also means personally loosing them. You will simply sympathize in him when you found out about his past and the reasons for all his actions.
Jem is still as sweet as always. In this book we got a little more information about his family and his sickness. He also show more emotions and personality especially when he is with Tessa. He becomes more hopeful and vibrant. I love the bond between him and Will but the romance between him and Tessa feels force for me. I can’t see any chemistry between them. Not because they are not match for each other but because it’s obvious who Tessa really loves.
I’m not picking any side between Jem and Will for Tessa. Jem and Will are two different individual who shines in their own way. I love them both so who ever ends up with Tessa is deserving. But I’m not sure if Tessa deserves any of them. She is still great but I don’t like the way she treat Jem and Will. Going back and forth between these two guys where in fact she’s just too in denial about her feelings. Reading from her perspective gives her true feelings to both guys and I don’t understand why she’s making it sound that she is confused where in fact it is too clear from her voice who she really loves. And the worst part is she choose the opposite side in the end. I understand that she don’t want to hurt Jem in any way, even I don’t want to see Jem getting hurt but I wish Tessa is more honest to herself.
Henry and Charlotte also offers more in the story besides being the leaders of London institute and guardians to Will, Jem and Jessamine. They are now getting their own side story which certainly gives a little sweet touch to the plot. I love the little discoveries from these two, really sweet and really lovely.
Sophie also got more role and own story. I think she’s the most surprising character for me. I didn’t expect more character development from her but she certainly did well in this installment. Being pair to another Shadownhunter gives her shining moment but what I really admire about Sophie is how she managed to get over Jem. And the way she handle Jessamine in the end is really surprising. Never in my imagination I see that coming.
If I remember it right, in Clockwork Angel Gideon Lightwood was described by Will as being worse than his brother, Gabriel but upon meeting him in here, I don’t see how he gain that reputation. The sub-plot he brings in the story has a lot of potential. I can already imagine how he can be at use and his relationship into a stronger plot.
I suspected that there is something going on with Jessamine but the turn out still surprise me. Mainly because I didn’t expect that Nathaniel would be back in the story. I really thought that his part is already concluded from the first book, Clockwork Angel. So seeing Nathaniel here once again is also a surprise.
And there’s Magnus Bane. If you have read my reviews for all the Shadowhunters books of Cassandra Clare you all know how I adore Magnus Bane, from the present world of Shadowhunters in The Mortal Instruments to this prequel series of The Infernal Devices. So I am delighted to see Magnus Bane once again in the story. Magnus Bane alone can convince me to read all the books of Shadowhunters world. And I’m so much glad that there’s more of him in this book compare to Clockwork Angel. It’s nice to know how Will and Magnus Bane become close and how they help each other once in a while, though Will was not aware that he actually do something for Magnus Bane which is one of the funny scene in this book. We also got to know more of Magnus Bane’s past relationship with Camille and how it ended.
Aside from character development, the world building of Clockwork Prince is also top notch. I really love how Cassandra Clare crafted the magical world of Shadowhunters in Victorian England. Her rich descriptions of surroundings and time were very vivid. The words always lost in front of me as the images flow easily in my imagination.
As for the plot there were just so much happening in this book but the puzzle behind the Magister and his ultimate plan is still a mystery. He is not actually present in this book compare to the Clockwork Angel. He is more working now in the background which just leaves more questions about his plans and motives. For sure the next book will reveal more of him and his schemes as well as Tessa’s connection to all of these.
With excellent character development, seemless flow of writing and unexpected surprises Clockwork Prince is an enthralling good read. It has actions, romance and mysteries. With all that, I am excited to read the series finale, Clockwork Princess.